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August 30, 2016 1:08 pm

Senator Cory Booker: Time to Move Past Iran-Deal Dispute, Bolster US-Israel Ties

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Democratic Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The time has come for the US and Israel to move on from the dispute over last year’s Iran nuclear agreement and work to bolster ties, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a prominent Democratic backer of the deal, told the Jewish Insider on Tuesday.

Booker, who recently returned from a trip to Israel with a bipartisan congressional delegation, said his support of the Iran deal, which drew strong criticism from some of his Jewish constituents and others in the pro-Israel community, stemmed from a “fierce allegiance to Israel, as well as to the security of the United States of America.”

“[F]or me, the looming threat was an Iranian nuclear attack, and we’ve removed that for the foreseeable short term. [Now] we’re focusing on what we need to focus on, which is Israel’s immediate security and the strong partnership between the United States and Israel,” Booker told the Jewish Insider. “For that, those conversations I have with pro-Israel people in Israel and the US, and in my meeting with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, everyone believes — whether they supported the deal or not — that we now must look forward and continuously strengthen the bonds between Israel and the United States.”

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Booker’s comments come as the US and Israel are finalizing a new 10-year memorandum of understanding on US military assistance to the Jewish state. Media reports have said both sides are hoping to complete a deal before the Obama administration leaves office in January.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a personal friend of Booker’s who has publicly feuded with the senator over the Iran deal, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Cory is dead wrong on Iran. He adds damaging insult to injury when he defends his support of a deal that will forever mar his public legacy…Cory knows the truth. The Iran nuclear agreement achieved none of its objectives and is an unmitigated disaster.”

Furthermore, Boteach said, Booker owes “the people of New Jersey an explanation as to why he continues to defend the Iran deal nightmare.”

The delegation with which Booker traveled to Israel included Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. “This is the first time in American history that two popularly elected African-Americans have been serving at the same time in the US Senate,” Booker said, referring to himself and Scott.

Booker said one of the “more moving” meetings the delegation took part in during the trip was with a group of Ethiopian-Jewish leaders.

“One of the reasons why we really wanted to connect with the Ethiopian community, as two Americans of African descent serving in the Senate, was to make an important connection with them and be able to discuss issues of race and culture, as well,” he said. “Number two, we definitely wanted to show the bipartisan support for Israel, as well as do things that we thought would be unique for the only two African-Americans in the Senate, including getting a chance to meet with diverse communities.”

Asked about the recent controversy, reported on by The Algemeiner, over anti-Israel components of the Black Lives Matter platform — in particular, the movement’s claim that the Jewish state is committing genocide against the Palestinians — Booker said:

First of all, from what I read — and I only read one article about it — it’s not the Black Lives Matter’s platform. It was the platform of an umbrella organization that has a number of Left organizations as a part of it. Number two, if you understand the Black Lives Matter movement, there’s no central leadership of the movement. This is an organic, grassroots movement all around our country… The main issues that you see, the commonality between activists all around the country, are trying to deal with the challenges in the criminal justice system, something that is very much central to my work…

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  • E Pluribus Wombat

    And that is why he’s not Hillary’s VP. Obama doctrine is give no quarter to the Jews, ever.

  • Andrew

    All Booker cares about is getting re-elected and supporting whatever the democrats have on their agenda. He doesn’t care one bit about Israel or even the security of the USA, showing by his continued support of the Iran fiasco.

  • John Train

    Sen. Cory Booker is 100% wrong. Iran is accelerating its progress toward developing nuclear weapons and the missiles necessary to obliterate Israel.

    The Associates of Amir Hossein Motaghi , the journalist and top media aide to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani who defected while covering the nuclear talks in Switzerland accuse the United States’ State Department and White House of acting on Iran’s behalf.

    Ben Rhodes detailed account about how he manipulated Sen Corey Booker , Representative Adam Schiff and the American public is a shameless exhibition of the deceit employed by the White House and by the State Department to propagate a false narrative, knowing that it was false

    Now, if Sen. Booker does not know the truth he is certainly unfit for public office.

    If Sen. Booker knows the truth then he is no friend of Israel. Further, he is no friend of the United States. Instead he is a willing accomplice to the potential destruction of New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and much of the United States through EMP..

  • SE Florida

    It’s time to find a replacement for Cory Booker

  • Ed Brandwein

    Move beyond the “deal” that the Democrats, and only the Democrats, made to recapitalize Iran as the bastards were actively threatening Israel with a second Holocaust. That’s what this jackass would like us to move beyond?

    The only thing I have moved beyond is the Democratic Party. Until they loudly and clearly abrogate this abomination, my money, advocacy and vote will go elsewhere.

  • Jonah

    He wants now to turn his attention to race and ethnicity. Yea we did a bad deal but it was a good deal because Obama is black. That’s what’s wrong with most African Americans they are smart but see everything through a black filter which dumbs them down. Obama plays them like a fiddle every time they start to come out from under the ether he brings in Al Sharpton and to whip them up into a frenzy then Obama is free to do any stupid deal he wants. But Obama is not stupid every move he makes is a calculated move to set Israel up for destruction….and it is done on the back of blacks and affirmative action. and obama is not really an American black that’s what sad about the whole deal.

  • Israel

    “We now must look forward and continuously strengthen the bonds between Israel and the United States.”

    That will only happen if Trump is elected. Hillary will push for the Auschwitz lines (the 2 state final solution)

  • shloime

    having shoved israel under the bus, and despite black lives matter’s rather obvious antisemitism, senator booker would still like some of that liberal jewish “$upport” for the next election. yeah, right.

  • Senator Booker, there is nothing you can do to sweet talk your way out of the disastrous Iran deal you voted on after your famous ride with Obama on Air-force One. While we will probably never know what Obama said to you or promised you to entice you to change your mind from voting against the Iran deal to a “yes” vote, the fact remains that you did it and now it’s time to pay the piper. I hope the people of New Jersey hold you accountable.

  • Ayatollah Ghilmeini

    The Iran deal was an unforgivable mistake. Sen. Booker is friend but he is a friend, that when it counted, caved to political pressure instead of standing with courage.

    Israel needs friends; I would rather have his friendship than not but I would rather he had been the kind of friend who had stood up last year and spoken out against an insane plan to let the Iranian beasts run wild.

    He will one day regret it, in the same way Bill Clinton wished he had done something in Rwanda. The problem with not being righteous when it matters is the regrets that inevitably follow.

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